I’m pleased to write that My Octopus Teacher, just released by Netflix, went immediately on to my All-time Favorite Wildlife Documentaries list.
My Octopus Teacher is built on the foundations of any successful doc:
- Huge Characters, human and cephalopod.
- Unique Access.
- Risk… to life and limbs.
Then there’s more:
- The original and relatable humanity of the story,
- Plus beautiful camera work and editing,
- These all combine to launch “Octopus” into that rare level of unforgettable viewing.
The Sea Where it Happened
- “The Making of My Octopus Teacher” describes the project’s history in detail.
- It’s written by associate producer Swati Thiyagarajan in a post for Sea Change.
- Her story reveals the jigsaw puzzle of vision, skill and practical decision-making that all came together to create a hit.
- Swati’s coverage is a great read / look / watch!
The success of OCTOPUS rings my bells on many levels:
- I have been cheering for a return to great story-telling in Natural History filmmaking. I lost the thrill of watching the many comparable series like Blue Planet that rely on extraordinary but unconnected sequences.
- My great friends at Off The Fence contributed mightily to its success.
- The film anticipates the BACKYARD NATURE sub-genre, which will rise in prominence as COVID disrupts the pipeline of big projects that rely on distant travel.
- I’m a long time champion of South African filmmakers and an advisor to NEWF, the “you-must-go!” Durban-based wildlife film conference.
- I swim: On my most recent trip to Cape Town, I took a dip in the icy, kelp-covered waters of False Bay, filmmaker Craig Foster’s backyard.
Look out for major awards at the Wildscreen and Jackson Hole wildlife-themed conferences.
Photos: Craig Foster with his teacher